Holdingford Man Guilty of Causing Fatal Crash in 2020
ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A Holdingford man accused of causing a fatal crash in the fall of 2020 has been found guilty.
A Stearns County judge found 24-year-old Jacob Westbrock guilty of criminal vehicular homicide and careless driving.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 42000 block of 190th Avenue in Holding Township on August 27th, 2020. The caller reported one of the two vehicles involved was on fire, and the other vehicle was nearby with the driver unresponsive and trapped inside.
Deputies determined that Westbrock was northbound on 190th Ave. in a pickup when he tried to pass another northbound vehicle and crashed head-on with a southbound car.
The driver of that car, 33-year-old Russell Heitzman of Avon, died in the crash.
In December 2021, Westbrock was found incompetent to face the charges against him but court records show he was restored to competency in the fall of 2022.
Westbrock waived his right to a jury trial and had the judge decide his fate in a one-day bench trial in September. The judge returned the guilty verdicts on Friday.
A sentencing date has not been set yet.
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